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Thread: Rebuild order

  1. #21

    Re: Rebuild order

    Quote Originally Posted by alanc48 View Post
    I found making a rolling chassis first was the way to go. Build the wheel hubs, lace em up, tubes and tires. Build and install the springer, mount up your wheels and brakes. Slap together your handlebars with the controls, install. Next up the the engine and tranny. Then the battery box and fenders. Run the wiring harness and speedo cable, get your dash plate all wired up and mounted. Install the coil and plug wires, then the carb. Run your control cables and hook them up to the breaker and carb, wire up the lights etc. Hook up the battery and make sure everything has power that should, that your ignition switch and dash plate are wired correctly. One of the last steps like Architect stated is installing the tanks and exhaust.
    This! ^^^
    1946 Chief - take apart and put back together
    101 Scout - building stage

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    new britain pa
    Posts
    3,303

    Re: Rebuild order

    I would do handlebars last. When i did my 45 i put the bars on early in the build. Then hit my head on them. Every time i moved around the bike.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    267

    Re: Rebuild order

    Rob you and I must be distant relatives...when I was working on bikes if guys had those pointy ass grips and didn't bring me a set of slit tennis balls to cover them I would guaranteed be bleeding from a head wound within the hour. I always sent them off to buy a set.

    I did a shovel without a dry run once, put new smooth seat stays on it. New paint too. Was all god till it was tightened down and the stays were slightly miss shaped and at one point ate into the new paint while I was shimming. Wished I had done them dry first.

    Craig

  4. Re: Rebuild order

    I agree with Robbie, a dry assembly can and should be done first! After that, tear it all down and restore each piece, then reassemble.

    Over the years I've assembled a number of teens and 20's Indian and Excelsior projects, mostly from parts. All of them started with a small pile of disassembled bits. I studied pictures, sales brochures and parts books, but there are no service manuals for those years. These are very complicated bikes as most controls are linkage and tend to be complicated! Once I had enough pieces and the time, I started assembling, repairing only what was needed to assemble the bike. I like to start with the shell of the engine and tranny in the frame. I'ts easy to install the engine main shaft (with one flywheel) and the transmission main shaft so the clutch and sprockets can line up. Now major components can be mounted and installed. Many parts needed to be made as they either could not be located or were so badly damaged they could not be assembled. It's this slow process where you learn all the little details of exactly how each part fits and works. Yes, parts go on, then off, then on again and that's how you learn what fits and what doesn't as well as the assembly order. One great example, on 15-24 Excelsiors, there is a primary chain adjusting bolt that threads into the bottom of the seat post tube / frame fitting. This is used to push the transmission back in order to adjust the primary chain. One part # for all these years, but I had various length bolts. This bolt and jamb nut MUST be installed in the frame before the engine is mounted in the frame, otherwise it will never fit, in it's original long format. All the other bolts I had were cut off because that's the only way it will go in after the engine is installed but it only allows about half the needed movement for adjusting the chain. So, the point here is it's important for many reasons to do a dry assembly, by the end, you will know every nut and bolt! At this point, you've become quite knowledgeable on your particular machine and you'll find others hear about your efforts and call to ask your advice. Share it freely, you've worked hard to gain it. I for one prefer to learn from others' mistakes but sometimes you just have to jump in and get wet!

    Mounting the handlebars and controls comes last for me too because the damn things are always in the way!!!!

    Once the entire thing is assembled, I completely disassemble everything and sort it out into piles for color paint, black paint, nickle plate etc. While that is all being done, then I work on the engine and transmission internals. After the engine and tranny are done, paint and plating finished, I lay out all the parts and sort through the thousands of nickle plated bits, setting each bolt and washer along side the part it holds together. Once that's done, it's easy! Now you have your own antique motorcycle kit and all it needs is assembly. Because you've been over it a hundred times, it goes together so easy! It's actually fun at that point because it goes fast.

    Now you're excited and ready to start up and work out the bugs. Unfortunately, this usually requires some more disassembly to fix something, but it's easy, you already know the sequence.

    So, dry assemble first!!!!!!! With a WLA it should be pretty easy, because you have great parts books, service manuals and restoration guides. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, that's the best way to learn!

    Oh, and have fun too, that's the whole point!!!

    Gene

  5. Re: Rebuild order

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    Yeah, maybe not so much.

    When I knew I would be getting the '52 FL panhead, I rushed out and got both volumes of the newest edition of Palmers.

    It's a treasure trove of information, to be certain. But it's also about 1,000 pages of very dense text, with some great illustrations and photos (but not that many), and precious little "do this first, then this, then this."

    If you want to know whether the bolts on the jiffy stand are parkerized or chromed in a particular year, or need to know whether your heads are from a 50, 52, or 54, it's amazing. And if you're looking to get a bike back to judging-quality stock, I'm sure it's invaluable.

    But if you're looking for "That grey box with fins on one side and wires sticking out is the regulator and is bolted to the front of the frame, with the wires coming out the bottom," (as I suspect OP is looking for), Palmer's isn't as valuable.

    All that said, here's how I'm diving in:
    • Get a local mentor - a guy at an indy shop or that guy down the street with a bunch of motorcycles. Bring cash and beer.
    • Get the service manual and parts manual. Lay out all the parts you can identify in roughly the right spot on your living room (or garage, I suppose) floor.
    • Put the parts together that you KNOW go together, and check with your mentor.
    • Put the parts that you THINK go together, together, and check with your mentor.
    • Get a second job to pay for the parts that you discover are missing, the ones that are broken, the ones that are wrong, and the ones you don't like.
    • Look at the pictures in your books, check Palmers, go to swap meets/bike shows and look at other bikes, spend hours looking at chopperswapper and other internet sources of "wisdom."
    • Post a bunch of pictures and ask questions here. Specific questions get specific answers - sometimes snarky, but usually specific.
    • Go read as many of the build threads as you can stand in the "Member Projects" section. Lots of guys post their solutions to problems you're going to run into, before you even know you have a problem.
    • Get a third job to pay for the machining work you're going to need to get the engine back in order, the frame fixed so you can hang all the right parts off it, and more beer for your mentor.


    It's working for me, so far.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    113

    Re: Rebuild order

    Quote Originally Posted by Architect View Post
    ...This one pearl of wisdom, don't be tempted to put the tanks on. They go on almost last, after all the wiring etc. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by alanc48 View Post
    I found making a rolling chassis first was the way to go. Build the wheel hubs, lace em up, tubes and tires. Build and install the springer, mount up your wheels and brakes. Slap together your handlebars with the controls, install. Next up the the engine and tranny. Then the battery box and fenders. Run the wiring harness and speedo cable, get your dash plate all wired up and mounted. Install the coil and plug wires, then the carb. Run your control cables and hook them up to the breaker and carb, wire up the lights etc. Hook up the battery and make sure everything has power that should, that your ignition switch and dash plate are wired correctly. One of the last steps like Architect stated is installing the tanks and exhaust.
    Thanks guys, exactly what I was after


    Quote Originally Posted by indianut View Post
    He pretty much gave you the same Pearl of Wisdom anyone here would and I agree....it sounds like you jusy need someone to just do it for you.
    No, I don't need someone to do it for me, I was just after some basic advice like the answers above. What I originally asked for...

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    113

    Re: Rebuild order

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    I would do handlebars last. When i did my 45 i put the bars on early in the build. Then hit my head on them. Every time i moved around the bike.
    Lol, I came to this conclusion all by myself.

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